The Best Dissertation Award for 2018 goes to Dr. Stacy Blasiola for her work “The Privacy of Others” (University of Illinois at Chicago).
Dr. Blasiola’s dissertation asked the question, “What does privacy look like when it is the privacy of others at stake?” Using a mixed methods approach to examine the social media conversation of journalists and everyday users following the 2015 Ashley Madison hacking scandal, Dr. Blasiola found that “a new type of privacy violation has emerged along with the practice of large-scale hacks: Mass Impersonal Social Monitoring.”
The committee felt the subject matter was timely and important, the methodology well-conceived and expertly executed, and the manuscript elegantly written. Dr. Blasiola’s dissertation contributes to internet research not only a significant advancement in our evolving understanding of privacy, but it also provides an example of innovative methodological design combining “big and deep data analysis” and a unique combination of framing theory, privacy work, journalistic ethics, and philosophy. The committee was impressed by the quality, rigor, and importance of Dr. Blasiola’s research.
The committee congratulates Dr. Blasiola and looks forward to reading more of her future research.
AoIR is grateful for the hard work by this year’s Best Dissertation Award committee: Daren Brabham (chair), Colin Agur, Eugenia Siapera, and Aram Sinnreich.